Associated Enterpsies, Inc. v. Toltec Watershed Improvement Dist.

PETITIONER: Associated Enterpsies, Inc.
RESPONDENT: Toltec Watershed Improvement Dist.
LOCATION: Allegheny County District Court

DOCKET NO.: 71-1069
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: Wyoming Supreme Court

CITATION: 410 US 743 (1973)
ARGUED: Jan 08, 1973
DECIDED: Mar 20, 1973

Fred W. Phifer - for appellee
Henry A. Burgess - for appellants

Facts of the case


Media for Associated Enterpsies, Inc. v. Toltec Watershed Improvement Dist.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 08, 1973 in Associated Enterpsies, Inc. v. Toltec Watershed Improvement Dist.

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments next in number 71-1069 Associated Enterprises against Toltec Watershed District.

Mr, Burgess you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Henry A. Burgess:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This case is before this Court on appeal from the mandate of the Supreme Court of Wyoming affirming a judgment which was entered by the State District Court for Albany County, Wyoming.

The mandate and the judgment of the State Court found that certain Wyoming statutes providing for the creation of a Watershed improvement district do not violate the Equal Protection clause, the Fourteenth Amendment United States Constitution.

This action was commenced by the Toltec Watershed Improvement District which is organized under the provision of the Watershed Improvement District Law of Wyoming seeking the entry upon the lands belonging to the associated enterprises for the purpose of surveying and drilling a dam site. Preliminary to the construction of a dam.

The lands involved are owned by Associated Enterprises that are under lease to the Johnston Fuel Liners.

Johnston Fuel Liners as lessee was not allowed to vote in the election which created the district.

William H. Rehnquist:

Mr. Burgess where in the record is there a finding by either the Trial Court or Supreme Court of Wyoming that Johnston Fuel Liners was a lessee from Associated Enterprise.

Henry A. Burgess:

It is in the appendix Your Honor.

William H. Rehnquist:

Where about.

The reason I asked is that I did not find in your stipulation of facts.

I found it in questions and answers submitted in interrogatory form but I did not find any finding at least in my study either by the Trial Court of the Supreme Court of Wyoming that assumed it as a fact.

Henry A. Burgess:

On page 19 of the appendix, there is a stipulation of the facts, and Paragraph 3 says that Johnston Fuel Liners is not a land owner.

As defined by WS 1957 so forth, and although given notice at the time and place to the referendum had no legal right to vote and did not vote.

That was in the stipulation of the facts.

This case was not actually tried.

It was submitted.

William H. Rehnquist:

(Inaudible) At least the Johnston Fuel Liners almost having this based on the land.

Henry A. Burgess:

That is correct.

They alleged that they are in possession of the land and then there was an order and judgment from which the appeal was taken and on page 24, in the interrogatory, and interrogatory number 3, has thus used, starting from bottom of the page 23 and we go down through the interrogatories, the second interrogatory says that they commenced using lands in 1959.

The use was continuous since 1959 to the date of the answer of the interrogatories.

Interrogatory number 4 says, Associated Enterprises had purchase some cattle in 1969, around the cattle and lands in Toltec District, then in entry or interrogatory number 5, it talks about the lease agreement between these two companies and the exchange of use of various lands.

William H. Rehnquist:

Okay this is Johnston Fuel Liners position I realize, but how are we to know that either the Trial Court or the Supreme Court of Wyoming accepted this position?

Henry A. Burgess:

Well, I believe then the Supreme Court -- the order of intervention of course, Johnston Fuel Liners is not rich as your party defendant and they were allowed to intervene and in the motion it says, that -- this is again on pages 14 and 15 of the motion, that they were a lessee and the entry of the lands upon Toltec, up the entry by Toltec upon the lands of Johnston Fuel Liners and their interference to move and strikes to its use and possession of the lands.

That's on pages 14 in the appendix.

William H. Rehnquist:

Bunch of it I get, as to -- I was just concerned.

Warren E. Burger:

I noticed though, before you leave it on the top of page on 25, there is the request in the interrogatory, please attach all copies of leases between the Johnston and Associated Enterprises, and then the answer is that the agreement is reflected on the Journals of the company and that there is no single written lease document.

Henry A. Burgess:


Warren E. Burger:

This is just an occupancy at sufferance.